Jakub Grygiel

National Security Visiting Fellow

Jakub Grygiel is a National Security Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is an associate professor of politics at The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) and a senior advisor at The Marathon Initiative. In 2017-2018 he was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Policy Planning at the Department of State. Previously, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis and on the faculty of SAIS-Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.

He is the author of Return of the Barbarians (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Great Powers and Geopolitical Change (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), and co-author with Wess Mitchell of The Unquiet Frontier (Princeton University Press, 2016). His writings have appeared in Foreign AffairsThe American InterestSecurity StudiesJournal of Strategic Studies, National Interest, Claremont Review of Books, OrbisCommentaryParameters, as well as several U.S. and foreign newspapers.

He earned a Ph.D., M.A. and an MPA from Princeton University, and a BSFS Summa Cum Laude from Georgetown University.

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Recent Commentary

Featured CommentaryAnalysis and Commentary

The Status Of The EU: A Frustrated Empire Built On The Wrong Assumption

by Jakub Grygielvia Strategika
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

As the Preamble to the 1957 Treaty of Rome stated, the purpose of the then European Economic Community was to “lay the foundations of an ever-closer union” among Europeans. This phrase became interpreted as a call for a progressively tighter political merger of the member states, with the European Union as the latest embodiment of this purpose. The problem with this progressive vision, however, is twofold: first, it is never fully achieved as the final objective remains always on the horizon and, second, it is grounded in the belief that a common market can create a unified polity. 

Analysis and Commentary

No, We Can’t Just Get Along

by Jakub Grygielvia The American Interest
Friday, May 15, 2020

To partner with a predator is to surrender. Some European diplomats are playing a dangerous game.

Analysis and CommentaryBlank Section (Placeholder)Related Commentary

A Coronavirus Strategy Memo To Chairman Xi

by Jakub Grygielvia National Review
Thursday, April 16, 2020

How China can use the aftermath of coronavirus to its strategic advantage.

Analysis and Commentary

Russia’s Orthodox Grand Strategy

by Jakub Grygielvia The American Interest
Friday, March 20, 2020

Putin will leave sooner or—as it seems—later. But a revanchist Russia, shaped by a revitalized Russian Orthodox Church, will outlast him.

Analysis and Commentary

Vladimir Putin’s Encirclement Of Europe

by Jakub Grygielvia National Review
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Russian propaganda, going back to czarist and Soviet times, often claims that Western powers are encircling Russia, forcing Moscow to be belligerent against its wishes. Russia is the perennial victim of aggressive foreign powers trying to keep Moscow locked in the steppes and, in the worst case, to install themselves in the Kremlin.

Related Commentary

The Importance of the Mediterranean Sea

by Jakub Grygielvia Strategika
Friday, January 10, 2020

The Mediterranean Sea is one of Europe’s inland seas, linking the continent with the rest of Eurasia, and most immediately with the Middle East and Africa. As such, it has two characteristics. First, its strategic relevance to outside powers (such as the United States) depends on whether they deem European political dynamics of vital interest. If continental Europe (and to a lesser degree the Middle East) loses geopolitical appeal, then the Mediterranean is of little significance.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Is Russia In Syria?

by Jakub Grygielvia American Interest
Friday, January 3, 2020

Russia recently announced that it will spend $500 million to fix and update the commercial port of Tartus in Syria. In 2017 Moscow had renewed its lease over the port, signing an agreement with Damascus in a clear show of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. But Russian (and before 1991, Soviet) naval presence there dates back to the early 1970s.

In the News

The Russian Presence In Syria Is A Force For Chaos Rather Than Order

quoting Jakub Grygielvia Mosaic Magazine
Friday, December 27, 2019

After a hiatus from involvement in the Middle East that began in 1991, Russia has reasserted itself in the region through its intervention in the Syrian civil war. Jakub Grygiel explains how America made this return possible through empty rhetoric, passivity, and shortsightedness.

Featured AnalysisAnalysis and Commentary

Russia’s Return To The Middle East

by Jakub Grygielvia The Caravan
Thursday, December 12, 2019

The reinsertion of Russia into the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East is one of the big stories of the past decade. Although Russia’s recueillement after 1991 resulted in its effective disappearance from the Middle East, her presence in the region is of course not a new reality in history. Tsars and Soviet leaders pushed their military might and political influence into the region for the last three centuries, clashing with various great powers, from the Ottoman sultanate to the British empire and the United States. But the speed at which the current Russian advance has occurred is surprising and troubling. Moscow has inserted an enormous level of instability and unpredictability to the already murky local power dynamics.

Analysis and Commentary

A New Alliance To Nowhere

by Jakub Grygielvia The American Interest
Friday, October 4, 2019

France and Germany’s “Alliance for Multilateralism” is pure posturing.